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"Do not live your life in the shadows of “I Should”, live it in the possibilities of “I Can”"

Dear Recovering Me,
Believe in yourself.  Spend time with those who make you smile.  Laugh often.  Failures are not the end of the world.  Life is an uphill climb.  Voice your feelings.  Avoidance is not an option.  Perfection is a standard of society, beauty is a standard of one’s heart.  Emotions are never wrong and always valid to those who own them.   Love unconditionally, with no strings attached.  Love yourself.  Set boundaries.  Be your own advocate.  Smile through the tears and cry through the smiles.  Anger is initially a strong emotion, do not be afraid of this.  Change occurs quickly, but must be processed slowly.  Anorexia is not your best friend.  It leads to everything evil.  Eating healthy, balanced meals and snacks are a non-negotiable.  Restriction does not create a controlled life and purging does not appropriately release emotions in a healthy manner.  Dreams do come true.  Trust more genuinely.  Life’s circumstances do not define who you are.  You are not a number on a scale.  The size of a pair of jeans will not determine your happiness or enjoyment of life.  Distortions are real, do not argue with this, but do not let them rule your life.  Distortions are lies that are created in an unhealthy part of your mind.  Others do not see or believe in your these views, thats okay, this will help you to accept your distorted views in a healthy way.  Lies create temporary relief and brings you to a very negative place.  Food is not the enemy, low self esteem is.  You are deserving of what life has to offer you.  You are worthy of your place in this world.  Trust more logically.  Giving up is far more difficult than moving forward.  Everyone is entitled to second chances, those  we love are entitled to even more.  Know your limits in every situation.  Every relationship is hard work.  Those who matter will stand beside you,  carry you and respect you.  These individuals are worth fighting for.  Treat others as you would like to be treated, this favor is not always returned, be okay with that.  It is not what you receive , but what you give.  Tomorrow is not promised.  Today is a gift.  Stay up late.  Rise early.  Be mindful.  Be aware that negativity silently creeps in.  No one is perfect.  Everyone has struggles, this does not mean you are less of a person.  Don’t be afraid.  Listen to your elders, for you will be one at some point in your life.  Cherish where you are presently, in life.  Do something for yourself everyday.  Do not shut down in the face of adversity.  The trials you face are not in vain.  Regrets are mistakes that we do not take responsibiliy for, mistakes are regrets that we do take responsibility for.  Live making many mistakes, this is how you will move forward and heal.  Live with no regrets, this will keep you in the past and unable to heal.  Have a mind like a child who experiences everything for the first time.  Stop, listen and take action.  Goodbye’s do not eliminate your experiences.  Hello’s are an opportunity to change a life that is struggling.  When one door closes, another will open, you just need to search for it at times.  Heartache reaches everyone, this is difficult to understand and accept, do it regardless.  There are only three paths in life; the past, present and future, you decide what path unfolds.  Keep improving yourself, this will keep you from focusing on the flaws of others.  There is always an underlying issue when you are angry at someone else, look within to find it.  Bad days are just bad days, you determine when the bad day ends or if it flows into your tomorrow.  Sadness is not a sign of weakness.  Crying makes you stronger.  Do something for someone else everyday.  Encourage those in need.  Stand up for those who are unable to stand up for themselves.  Protect the innocent.  Always set your sights from the individual who has a disadvantage, this will allow you to see life from a wider angle.  Learn something new everyday.  Family is not defined by DNA.  Rather it is defined by a bond that is everlasting.  This is a rare find, so cherish it if you come across it.  You have many blessings, both seen and unseen; find them, acknowledge them and hold onto them.  Be proud of who you are, do not assume others will be.  Respect your own needs and wants, this is not a selfish task,  this is a must do.  Someone else’s expectations of you  are just that.  Do not live life, living up to someone else’s expectation, for that will cause problems.  Set reasonable expectations for yourself, this will enable you to be independent.  You  will rise above life’s circumstances.  Life is not an understanding, it is an acceptance. 

I furthered this activity with connecting each word to an elastic, which will allow me to wrap each word around a rock, which I will then throw into the ocean.  Giving me permission to start to deal with each one and will give me permission to let go of the grip that holds me deep within my pit.  There is no truth within a pit of an eating disorder, it is all distortions and lies that you are made to believe.  I am challenging those lies and distortions.  I will be set free!

I furthered this activity with connecting each word to an elastic, which will allow me to wrap each word around a rock, which I will then throw into the ocean.  Giving me permission to start to deal with each one and will give me permission to let go of the grip that holds me deep within my pit.  There is no truth within a pit of an eating disorder, it is all distortions and lies that you are made to believe.  I am challenging those lies and distortions.  I will be set free!

More cutting of the jeans…into strips.  In order to fit into these jeans, I have had to use unhealthy coping skills of an eating disorder, which caused me to numb out all of my emotions and feelings.  This is not okay.  Feelings and emotions are a major part of experiencing life.  I have gone far to long neglecting this part of my own world.  Numbing out has only brought me to a desperate place of hating myself and with very poor coping skills.  The cutting of this pair of jeans has allowed me to appropriately express all of the emotion and feelings that I have buried and neglected over the years.  I’m taking power from the monster that is my eating disorder and giving it back to the one who should be in charge of my life…ME!  

More cutting of the jeans…into strips.  In order to fit into these jeans, I have had to use unhealthy coping skills of an eating disorder, which caused me to numb out all of my emotions and feelings.  This is not okay.  Feelings and emotions are a major part of experiencing life.  I have gone far to long neglecting this part of my own world.  Numbing out has only brought me to a desperate place of hating myself and with very poor coping skills.  The cutting of this pair of jeans has allowed me to appropriately express all of the emotion and feelings that I have buried and neglected over the years.  I’m taking power from the monster that is my eating disorder and giving it back to the one who should be in charge of my life…ME!  

I’ve been working through a workbook, since I’ve been back in treatment.  A chapter from this workbook focused on the eating disorder as a pit.  During that exercise I was asked to draw my pit and what that looked like.  I created a deep pit, filled with many negative words that my eating disorder has told me and that I have believed up until this point.  I chose to write each one of those words on a piece of these jeans.  This allowed me to express further the depths of what this disease has taken from me.

I’ve been working through a workbook, since I’ve been back in treatment.  A chapter from this workbook focused on the eating disorder as a pit.  During that exercise I was asked to draw my pit and what that looked like.  I created a deep pit, filled with many negative words that my eating disorder has told me and that I have believed up until this point.  I chose to write each one of those words on a piece of these jeans.  This allowed me to express further the depths of what this disease has taken from me.

The cutting of the jeans continues, seperating them into four separate parts. 

The cutting of the jeans continues, seperating them into four separate parts. 

I began this task by taking 2 pair of jeans from my closet, of which I am cutting up into small pieces (not pictured).  This brought me to making a goal of cleaning out my entire closet to rid my apartment of negative clothing, with the intention of leaving myself with only a couple pairs of jeans and destroying those that were no longer appropriate for me to attempt to force my body into.  I am forcing myself to challenge the rule of manipulating my body into clothing which is smaller than my healthy body size and shape.  This is never a ‘fix’ for being or feeling beautiful, it will bring negativity into your life!

I began this task by taking 2 pair of jeans from my closet, of which I am cutting up into small pieces (not pictured).  This brought me to making a goal of cleaning out my entire closet to rid my apartment of negative clothing, with the intention of leaving myself with only a couple pairs of jeans and destroying those that were no longer appropriate for me to attempt to force my body into.  I am forcing myself to challenge the rule of manipulating my body into clothing which is smaller than my healthy body size and shape.  This is never a ‘fix’ for being or feeling beautiful, it will bring negativity into your life!